Twenty-four 'thes' covered the front display wall at RiskPress during the month of October. Six additional black textural 'thes' were displayed elsewhere in the gallery. I loved watching people walk through, look at the work and discover the 'the'. Many comments and discussions followed about this ubiquitous word in the English language. And there were many who asked "Why the 'the'?" Rather than answer the question I preferred to talk about the word. 1) 'The' can be pronounced with a long or short 'e' sound depending on its usage.
2) 'The' is the most commonly used word in the English language.
3) As an adjective or adverb, it is a part of speech; it is also needed to mark a noun.
4) As an article, it is a determiner that makes the indefinite definite. So 'the' matters a lot!
5) In the English language, it matters a lot. However, many Asian languages* do not have articles.
*And other languages of the world, not mentioned here.